MARCO E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, on Thursday announced an investment of $100 million over the next three years to improve the way newcomers access settlement services through the service delivery improvements (SDI) process.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) launched the SDI 2020 funding process in 2020 to 2021. As a result of this process, 78 projects have been selected. These projects will explore how to better integrate newcomers in their new communities and support the settlement sector as it recovers from the pandemic. For example:
* The University of Windsor’s Artificial Intelligence: A Rapid Response Leveraging Newcomers’ Pathway to Settlement will test whether artificial intelligence can be used to develop an effective settlement strategy for newcomers.
* The Accessible Community Counselling and Employment Services’ Connecting Canada: Employer Engagement Driving Settlement in Smaller Communities will test whether connecting newcomers with employers in smaller urban and rural communities before they arrive will lead to more newcomers choosing to settle there.
* S.U.C.C.E.S.S.’s An Anti-Oppression Framework to Combat Systemic Racism in Immigrant Services will explore service approaches designed with an anti-oppression framework.
Throughout the pandemic, many settlement services have moved online. SDI funding will help IRCC determine the kinds of services newcomers need, while taking into account the increased reliance on online service delivery.
Mendicino said: “Settlement services play a fundamental role in Canada’s immigration system. From work to housing to language training, they set newcomers up for success. During this challenging year and a half, I think it’s safe to say everyone has needed support in some form or another. One can only begin to imagine the additional hurdles this pandemic has presented newcomers trying to start their lives in Canada. These new SDI projects will help us enhance and improve settlement services so every newcomer can reach their full potential here.”
* Since 2017, SDI projects have centred on developing innovative approaches to better support the settlement and integration of newcomers.
* Funding will begin in the fall of 2021 and run until March 31, 2024.
* An SDI expression of interest process is run every three years to attract and consider new areas of study, with projects funded for up to three years. This three-year funding cycle is subject to change based on knowledge gained through the SDI process.